June 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Two Groups Sign MOU on Planned Teaneck Memorial & Garden

The Northern NJ Holocaust Memorial and Education Committee (HM) and the Enslaved African Memorial Committee (EAMC) have been actively collaborating on the development of the Garden of Human Understanding, a memorial site and educational center to be located at the Teaneck Municipal Green, which will pay tribute to victims of the Holocaust and enslaved African Americans.

The memorial and educational center are intended to serve as a platform to educate visitors about these major events in history and their communal lessons. The two groups, who have been supporting the initiative for years, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes a partnership that allows them to utilize their collective strength for the primary purpose of fundraising.

The signing took place at a recent Teaneck Council meeting that was broadcasted via Zoom, with HM co-chairs Steve Fox and Bruce Prince and EAMC executive director Patricia King-Butler and committee member Zain Conteh.

This initiative is not just two neighbors sharing the same space, but rather two groups that are connected through certain experiences that allow them to develop joint programming on the same campus. “There is a built-in synergy that people going to one memorial can also go to the other and have the opportunity for educational exposure to programs that explore the commonalities between the two tragedies,” said Fox.

The MOU also states that marketing and fundraising campaigns should be established not only for the benefit of both groups but for the adjacent Teaneck Library as well, which will provide educational resources and personnel to staff the designated area allocated to the groups.

Fundraising campaigns will consist of joint print, video and social media marketing. Both groups are excited about this partnership and believe that together their message will have an even greater impact. Butler said, “The EAMC anticipates a productive and workable relationship with the Holocaust Committee to achieve our mutual goals of commemorating the history of slavery in Bergen County and the victims of the Holocaust.”

Fox believes there are many organizations that would appreciate the uniqueness of a campus that fosters human understanding by offering guests a chance to visit both memorials that commemorate their specific histories while teaching the same message.

In today’s polarizing environment where hatred and divide are widespread, the message these groups aim to impart is extremely relevant. “At the end of the day the lessons of the Holocaust and the lessons of enslaved Africans teach us what happens when racism, fascism and discrimination take hold,” said Fox.

Fox hopes the joint venture will also engage students from private and public schools in the area who can join together for programming at the actual site or at their respective schools.

For Butler and the entire EAMC, the memorandum represents a working document that will not only highlight the bond that exists between both communities in fighting racism and anti-Semitism, but will actively engage our respective communities to learn more about the other.

For more information, please visit www.nnjholocaustmemorial.org� and www.eamcnj.org.

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